Thursday, August 02, 2007

Your Brain On MS...

Anybody else recall those drug prevention commercials in the 80's (I think? I'm getting old, so could have been 70's) where the first scene was of an egg and the narrator would say, "This is your brain". Then the next scene would be the egg frying in a skillet and the narrator would say, "And this is your brain on drugs. Get the picture?"

Well, I think a suiting commercial for MY brain would go something more like this: A narrator holds up a shiny, metal bowl full of water and announces, "This is your brain". And in the next scene, the shiny, metal bowl full of water NOW has several tiny pin-hole-sized openings in the bottom with one or two larger holes where water can be seen shooting out the holes in the bowl (much like a sieve)...the narrator then says, "And this is your brain on MS. Get the picture?"

That's much how my brain feels these a draining sieve of information once stored now shooting wildly out the MS lesions! I feel like some days I can't even remember my own name without looking at my driver's license...

I am fully aware some days are worse than when I've allowed myself to become too tired or fatigued...or when it feels too dayumed hot outside...or when I am particularly under stress...or those gawd-awful hormonal shifts. And if I allow ALL of those factors to play out together, my mind begins to feel more like an information "funnel" than a slowly draining sieve.

In my job, I am called upon to not only listen to patients and their families, but to also SPEAK to them...hopefully in an intelligent manner. It is most disconcerting when my word-finding abilities seem to have drained out one of the holes in my brain and I am left KNOWING what I am trying to say, but unable to formulate the word or words. And then seconds, or as is usually the case, minutes later, I suddenly recall what it is I was trying to say earlier.

For instance, tonight I was working with my beloved Rojoo and we were attempting to have a meaningful conversation during our meal time. I was asking Rojoo about his chosen "vegetarian" lifestyle and trying to question how he came to his dietary decision. I was TRYING to ask if he chose not to eat meat because of physical reasons or....(pregnant pause)...? The word was right there in my brain, but it would not connect with my tongue.

I found myself trying to find "other" words that might explain the "or" part of my question. "Spiritual", "mental", "ideas about life", etc...none of these words fully expressed my intent in the conversation! Fortunately, Rojoo is quite patient and continued to carry the conversation while I sat completely distracted by my lack of word-finding...but I couldn't let it go.

What seemed to be well over a minute later, I suddenly blurted out, "PHILOSOPHICAL! That's the word I was trying to find!" Feeling some sense of relief from the embarrassment of my brain fart ways, I let out a sigh...only to realize I had NOW forgotten the original question!!! LOL

This is your brain on MS, folks...I'm afraid we ALL get the picture much too clearly...


solipsist said...

Hi. I made a long comment on your July 21st post regarding how I treat my MS. You may find it interesting. I'm just letting you know here in case you do not check old posts.

My e-mail addy is (that is not clear through my profile).

Miss Chris said...

I sometimes find that I cannot get my thoughts out in a coherent manner. It makes me think that I know in some small way what Alzheimer's must feel like.

Peej said...

You just clearly described the reason I'm no longer able to work... This has been the route my MS has taken. Oddly enough, I think you'll find that though the brain/speech highway is under construction, the brain/typing portion works just like it always did... I'm not sure what the difference in wiring is but I assure you there is one.

Hope this is just temporary for you. It's a real cojone cruncher of a symptom..


Anonymous said...

Hey, LD

Thanks for working hard last night. I wish it would catch on. As for the brain farts, you may have M.S., but what's my excuse?
You're the best.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure, I'm way late for any response, but I just wanted to say, you explained exactly how I feel. My Doctor told me, that according to my symptons and the many MRI's I've had, I have MS, but he also said I could be in the beginning stages of Alzhiemers! How can we tell what is really wrong with us. I'm frustrated, I'm scared, I feel stupid, because I really don't even know what MS is, I thought it was a desease that crippled you physically. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you, as you have given me a way to explain what is going on. I pray you and all of you out there with MS will find peace, I know I'm still looking for it. Oh! My Doc. did put me on a medication called Namenda - I think it is working some, I still have several brain cramps as you call them, but I don't seem to be forgeting as much. At least, I don't think I am. God Bless and take care